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Stay in touch. Keep up your Dutch! #4

It’s been almost a month since we closed our doors to students. The corona virus forced us to switch to online classes, which thankfully seems to be working out great for both students and teachers. But how do our students practise their Dutch, when they’re not supposed to leave the house? In this series of short interviews, we ask our teachers for advice (and for some personal revelations as well)! Today it’s up to Petra Hisgen. Is she seriously advising us to eat more fruit?

What is it you love about teaching Dutch?

‘’The best thing about being in a classroom with students (in real life, not virtual), is that I can hit them real hard with a plastic banana, when I see or hear them making mistakes. I keep a plastic banana in my classroom solely for that purpose. I really miss the hitting!

Of course it’s also fantastic to see how students develop their Dutch from basic to more complex structures, but that’s just secondary 🙂 Fortunately I love Dutch, and I hope students realise Dutch is not nearly as complicated as some people think.’’

Do you need superpowers to teach Dutch grammar to foreigners?

‘’Of course you need superpowers to be able to teach, especially when the hitting doesn’t help 🙂 (see above)’’

What is it most students don’t know about you?

‘’They literally know everything about me.’’

All Direct Dutch courses continue online during the corona crisis. How is your experience with online teaching so far?

‘’We all have to get used to it. The interaction is totally different than the interaction in a ‘regular’ lesson. But we’re lucky to be able to continue the courses. My students are way more tech savvy than I am, and their feedback helps to make the most of it. I am really quite happy about that.’’

Social distancing = less opportunity to practise Dutch. Some tips, please!

‘’I am sure there are online groups for people who want to practise Dutch. Everyone has more time (and patience 🙂 ’’

Which Dutch books do you recommend to students of Dutch?

‘’There are so many books that are great for students! It’s hard to just name one.’’

Which Dutch movies /series do you recommend?

”I really love the movie ‘Kauwboy’. It is a childrens movie, but it is fabulous, for adults as well.”

Last but not least, do you have a mantra to keep your head up during this crisis?

‘’I absolutely don’t 🙂 , perhaps ‘all life is suffering’?’’